- The Igala people have called for the creation of Okura state
- They rejected the call for the return to regionalism
- The region said it was in support of the unity of Nigeria
The Igala people have rejected the call for the restructuring of the country back to the period of regionalism insisting they want the creation of Okura state from the current Kogi state.
Premium Times reports that the people who spoke under the aegis of Uk’omu Igala, the umbrella body for socio-cultural organisations in Kogi East insisted that they wanted Nigeria to remain one but more power should be given to the federating units.
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Patrick Akpa who is the national leader of the group said it was also not in support of the break-up of the country.
He said: “We reject any proposal for restructuring Nigeria which takes us back to the idea of regionalism as if we are so forgetful about the ugly experiences of the First Republic,” Mr. Akpa stated.
“Regional governments in the First Republic squeezed and emasculated the minority ethnic nationalities in the North, West and East, and the bitterness associated with the report of the Willink Commission which rejected the quest of minorities for separate states did not die until the premature collapse of the Republic.”
He insisted on the unity of Nigeria because “the blood of hundreds of Igala sons was sacrificed in the fratricidal war to keep Nigeria’s unity during the 1967-1970 civil war.”
He called for the creation of Okura state “in recognition of the persistent struggle for it since the Second Republic in 1981.”
He said the “Igala nation rejects the proposal by the North-Central Caucus at the 2014 National Political Conference which called for the creation of Kainji State from Niger and Kebbi States instead of recommending the creation of Okura State that has been on the front burner of political discourse since 1981.
“Insisting on the creation of Kainji State out of Niger state (North-Central) and Kebbi state (North-West) will definitely alter the geopolitical configuration of Nigeria,”
He described the creation of the state as “the natural equitable expression of political balance in the state creation exercise.”
“The Igala nation therefore declares its support for the retention of federalism and the recognition of the rights of ethnic groups within the states to express their right to self-determination.
“It also called for the devolution of power as the “over-concentration of power at the centre is to the detriment of the federating units.”
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He called on the government to review “the percentage of revenue allocation to states producing oil, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of areas affected by insurgency and other conflicts and the diversification of the Nigerian economy by fast-tracking the development of the solid minerals sector.”
NAIJ.com had earlier reported that the Nigerian Senate voted against giving more powers to states in what can be termed a set back to the agitation for restructuring in the country.
The Senate on Wednesday July 26 rejected the proposal to amend the 1999 Constitution in other to devolve more powers to the states.
Watch a NAIJ.com TV video below of Nigerians speaking about whether they want restructuring or not: